Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Update

Good grief!! Blogger is giving me troubles today. I had a whole other post written out, but was having trouble editing one of the pictures, so I had to erase it. Anyway, we spent the weekend watching Maya and Mason (aka "The Chomper"). We have an super fantastic deal with our buds Jeff and Gretchen. We trade weekends away every so often. They took off to have some time together, while we watched the kids. We had a great time playing in their backyard, jumping on their gigantic trampoleen (I think John likes it as much as the kids). Sunday the last day was the hardest. It started out with Stella tumbling down their flight of stares as I watched from the top step, unable to do anything but watch her roll down, scream, and run after her. Thankfully and miraculously, she was not hurt, even though she hit the hard wood floor at the bottom. She fell like a little professional stunt baby, rolling all the way down, arms tucked in. It was, I think, the scariest thing I've gone through as a mom. To see her falling, and have no control, it seemed to happened in slow motion when I think back on it. Overall though the weekend was a success. Maya and "The Chomper" were super. We look forward to our own weekend away in a couple of weeks.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Grateful Friday

1. Seeing Jack's smile when he heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time.
2. My mom's surgery went well, and she is recovering nicely.
3. Watching my nieces this week, I love watching all of them play together.
4. Kissing my kids sweaty heads at night after they fall asleep.
5. Staying at our friends house this weekend and watching their kids, it will be fun pretending we are home owners with a big backyard in a new neighborhood for a couple of days.
6. Fit Pregnancy magazine.
7. Feeling inspired and motivated to get walking again after reading an article in my magazine.
8. John watching the kids last night so I could get out of the house by myself for a couple of hours.
9. The weather cooling down slightly.
10. Anticipating watching "Lady in the Water" tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Today's To-Do List

1. Return the Australian toaster biscuits I bought at the store the other day. I opened the package when I got home and there was mold on every single one of them. I was so sad because at that moment I was craving a toaster biscuit with butter and orange marmalade on it. John would have just said to cut the little piece of mold out, but I don't believe in doing that, I really think the whole thing is contaminated with mold even if I only just see a speck of it.

2. Return the library books. We have about 25 checked out and I got the dreaded automated call from the library lady yesterday saying we have overdue books. I usually do so good about returning books on time, but on occasion time gets away from me. oops

3. Go get a nice cool drink and head to the park with the kids. We need to get out of here by 9:00 though or it will just be too hot.

4. Go to Michaels and get some craft supplies. They are having the "Dollar Days" this week so I'm stocking up.

5. Have the kids make a "Get Well" poster for my mom.

6. Make dinner. I'm so proud of John, he's been trying hard lately to eat healthier. Last night his comment at dinner was "mmm this is pretty good for a vegetarian dish"....I decided to take this as a complement.

7. Read "Three Junes" during nap time.

8. Visit mom in hospital, bring her the poster we made. My mom went into surgery this morning, I hope to put a couple pictures of the kids on the poster too, it's always nice to have familiar faces to look at in dreay hospital rooms.

9. Watch Project Runway. I was sad when Milan got booted, I was a little annoyed by him at first, but he grew on me in one episode, and by the end I almost cried along with him as he said his parting words.

Monday, July 24, 2006


The family we share a duplex with is from Africa. Last week Wangui's father in Kenya died. She is a lovely quiet woman with a thick accent. The day we found out her father died is the day when the non stop visitors began next door. They belong to a tight community like I have never seen in any church or social group ever. People have been pouring into that house with food and hugs contiually since last week. On Saturday night there seemed to be a party going on. We could smell goat on the bbq and people were milling around everywhere talking and eating. We thought it was some traditional African funeral feast, or some sort of farewell party for the father who had passed. The next day though we learned it was more practical, a fundraiser for the family so they could go back to Africa this week and be with the family. Yesterday I brought the family a cake I made, as I walked over and entered the garage I was greeted by 20 or so African men sitting in a circle in Geoffrey's garage. I stopped, a little taken back by all the eye's on me. I quickly searched for Geoffrey and asked for Wangui. He said to go right in. As I made my way through the middle of this group of men I was greeted with warm smiles and comments about the cake I'd made, thank you's, and a feeling of welcome. As I stepped into their house a woman was in the kitchen cooking the most wonderful smelling food. The kitchen was filled with dishes and pots and pans and this woman cooking looked up with a warm smile and said hello. I could tell that Wangui and her family were being taken care of in a way I've never seen before. The women were surrounding Wangui with love and support almost 24 hours a day, while the men surrounded Geoffery and lifted him up while he supported his wife. I used to arrogantly and naively think that this kind of love and support was only found in the church I attended. What I've seen and learned though is that a deep sense of brotherhood and love can be found in many places. I feel a deep happiness seeing the love next door, it also makes me think about how much more I can be there for my friends when they are in need.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Grateful Friday

- Sitting in the park this morning at 7:45 reading a book, sipping a coffee, and eating a treat while my kids was peaceful and quiet.
- 3 new books to read "Three Junes", "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress", and "Holy Cow".
- It's Friday.
- Air conditioning when it's 106 outside.
- John's help with the kids in the evening.
- Watching Jack and Stella play in the sprinklers.
- Finding a cheaper cable package.
- Watching Project Runway.
- Cherry granola over yogurt.
- Our weekend away in 3 weeks. We're going to San Francisco and I can't stop thinking about it.
- Our babysitting Co-Op, it's a wonderful thing.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Jack is my sensitive little man. He likes things a particular way and if things are in disorder or not going his way, he will inevitably break down crying. He will line his cars up in a perfect row, stand back and look at them, and then pat his flat hand along the side of them to line them up even more perfectly. I love these little quirks about him.
Jack is also my little chatterbox. Before we could even really understand what he was saying, he used to come up to the side of our bed in the morning and, with his little eye's peaking over the edge of the bed deliver a speech about, we were never sure what, but he was passionate about it, using hand movements and everything. He loves to use his hands when he talks, I'm not sure where he got this from, but it's very very cute.
I love my little boy more that I can say. Even just writing about him right now I have a lump in my throat. I feel like I love him more than anyone has ever loved anyone.
I love that he loves being outside, and that he loves Japanese animation. I love that he loves drawing monsters and sidewalk drains, and I love that when he gives hugs he gives them in a certain order: Hugs, squeeze, kiss, hug, and that he says each of those words as he does it. I wish you all could meet him, he would probably hide behind me for awhile but once you got to know him he would be the highlight of your day.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Joleen's awesome idea. A week of shapes.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Grateful Friday

- Toast with orange marmalade and butter
- Our trip to Monterey
- John's company extending his lay off date by 2 months and offering an even bigger bonus for staying the whole time
- Hanging out with my friend Gretchen and her kids on Tuesday
- Regal theaters "family film festival" offering free movies on Tuesday's at 10
- Mom coming over on Wednesday and watching a movie with Jack while I took a nap for the first time in a month
- Pandora a fun music station that makes up radio stations for you for the kind of music you like
- Cookie magazine
- This picture of Jack, it shows exactly how he feels about me taking his picture these days
- Watching "Hustle and Flow" with John last night and both of us enjoying it

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Head Butts and Biting

This sweet innocent looking little angel (though looking at this picture I do see a hint of mischief in that little smile) has perfected the art of head butting. Jack taught her the basics, aim your head at a body part and plow in, but Stella has taken it to another level. First of all we aren't sure where Jack learned this painful little skill, but he started doing it to Stella a couple of weeks ago. Time outs and a few little spankings have slowed them down a bit though. Stella however in the last day or so has shown that she not only picked the maneuver up from Jack but has perfected it. First I saw her head butt Jack in the chest. Instead of just bending over and running, she actually gets close to Jack, grabs his shoulders, bends her head and forcefully slams it into his chest. Yesterday was the worst, she actually stood before Jack, grabbed his head on each side by the ears and slammed her head into his. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY SWEET LITTLE BABIES!! It's like wrestlemania over here. Twice yesterday Stella bit Jack, once on the nose, leaving marks, and once on the arm. Sometimes I feel like a referee all day, breaking up fights, trying to keep blood from flowing out of one kid or another. Today I'm aiming for at least a head butt and bite free day, I have a feeling they will still think up new ways to hurt each other, but at least I have a place to start.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge:"Portrait of".....An Expanding Body

Ok, you have to give my a tiny break in this second picture I had just gotten up about 10 minutes before. I'm feeling more pregnant now. I generally have super easy pregnancies but if I had to rate them I'd say this is the hardest on me so far. No problems at all, just feeling a lot more tired. Jack isn't taking naps anymore and constantly bending over has caused some major back pain. When I get up in the morning my body is stiff and achy and by the evening my back hurts and I'm exhausted. I know this is all because I have Jack and Stella running around now, and I'm not really getting a break during the day. WA WA WA, ok enough whining. LOOK AT THAT AMAZING BELLY. Isn't it incredible there's a BABY in there!! I've felt lots of kicks and I've taken to calling the baby Elvis (Mainly because John refuses to let us name the baby Elvis if it's a boy, who doesn't like the name Elvis? It's a classy name!! ) More self portraits here

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Monterey is one of my favorite places. We spent the last couple days there enjoying the beach and the aquarium.
The kids loved the aquarium, I especially liked the jelly fish and the tuna at feeding time.
I think our favorite part was getting to hang out at the beach for 3 whole days. It is truly a joy watching Jack and John make sand forts and watching Jack run from the waves. Stella is always scared at first and then she gets into it and likes throwing sand all over the place.

My mom and Heidi came up and joined us for the aquarium and the beach. It was fun having them with us to play on the beach. Jack LOVED playing with grandma in the water, and Stella LOVED hanging with Heidi, throwing sand all over her.
Cannery Row is always nice to walk down, with all the little shops and galleries. This otter scared my kids. Jack hid behind my skirt and Stella just snuggled into Heidi and stared at him.
It was a beautiful, fun, relaxing trip. I'm reading to go back already. Hope you all have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Hope you all are having a super 4th of July so far. We spent the morning at my mother-in-laws. The things my kids love most about visiting her is the rides they get on her motorized scooter. John and the kids zipped all over her apartment complex. MaryAnn then made us a huge lunch, it was a fun time.
Tonight we are keeping the kids up late and going to watch a big fireworks show out on a local levee. I love watching the kids reaction, so far they have just been scared, but I think this year they might really like it. Have a fun 4th everyone.